The Right to be Human Turns 70 Years Old

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Written By Geoff Jaeger

10 December is the day we recognise “equality, justice and human dignity” for everyone on our planet. It’s Human Rights Day!

It’s time for equality

We live in a strange world. Thousands of years after we crawled out of the slime we remain locked in a struggle to recognise one another as the same kind – humankind; each with no more right to life than any other.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights “sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

On December 10, we celebrate Human Rights Day. It is a day when we reflect on what unites us rather than all the things that divide us (like whether you are a cat person or a dog person, or whether you prefer the Google hamburger emoji or the Apple version).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is “a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”


All Humans Beings are Born Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights.” We all have the right to feel safe, to be given the opportunity to thrive in the world, to be supported when we need it – this is the foundation of our civil society. Yet, we know that many people’s lives are far from that ideal. The wave of #MeToo shows how many women have experienced harassment and discrimination around the world. The NSW Domestic and Family Violence BluePrint 2017 – 2021 shows just how far we have to go to ensure that children feel safe, and are safe, in their own homes.

Hope lives on the horizon

Yet, we remain hopeful. Experiments in universal wages in Finland and Canada are steps in the right direction. So too are apologies to Indigenous Peoples. The appetite for the legalisation of same-sex marriage – a ’work in progress’ according to the United Nations Human Rights Committee – is yet another area where significant advancement has been made in the past five years..

As ever, there’s a long way to go. A quick glance at this Facebook post by the Australian Human Rights Commission and ensuing comments – give us all pause. However, let’s celebrate our hard-won advancements in human rights; let’s look forward to 2018 in hope. Let’s be grateful that businesses, such as The Copy Collective, think human rights are important and worthy of active pursuit. The Copy Collective is a 2017 national finalist in the Australian Human Rights Business Awards.

Add your voice to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights here